Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they tried to cover their sin and shame. The fig leaves they sewed together were certainly concealing, but the fig tree continued to live. Sin, remember, deserved death.
God’s provision for them was different, sacrificial. He clothed them with skin from an animal. A life had to be taken for their sin to be covered. Adam and Eve deserved death, but God provided a substitute sacrifice. This system of sacrifice became God’s gracious provision throughout the Old Testament. Then Jesus came.
Jesus—fully God and fully man—gave himself up as the perfect sacrifice. Being sinless, he was the only One who did not have to die for his sins. Being man, he was the only One who could die on man’s behalf. The Old Testament sacrifices had to be repeated over and over, but Jesus’ perfect sacrifice took place one time for all time. Believers “have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10 NIV).
Thank you for making me holy—setting me apart for your work—through your one-time-for-all-time sacrifice.
In your name, I pray. Amen.
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